I’ve just spent the last two days trying to map a hike to take the Wild Women Hiking in Santa Susana State Historic Park.  I’ve only mapped half of what should only be about a 5-6 mile hike, because I keep getting distracted.  Santa Susana State Historic Park in Chatsworth, CA is one of my favorite places to explore because the layers of history there are so deep.

Cool little rock shelter

To start it was a very busy native american habitation site full of creeks and waterfalls.  An indian trail ran through the park over a pass that enabled people to travel from the San Fernando Valley over to Simi Valley.  In 1905 the railroad decided to burrow through the mountain under the park to go under the mountain pass. During the making of that tunnel they busted the aquaphor and permanently drained it. With one stick of dynamite the railroad turned a water wonderland, full of lush vegetation, into a desert landscape. This makes the landscape an enigma. It is covered with water erosion and there’s hardly ever any water.

Full big water pocket. I splashed half the water out to see if it was a grinding hole. I dont think it was.

I came out here a couple of days after a heavy rain. Its delightful to see a little water rolling over falls, full boulder-top water pockets, and even little ponds. 


These things kept yanking me off my intended trail and ended up propelling me on a bushwhacking, boulder scrambling expedition along the rocky ridgeline instead of across the meadow below. Two days of fun “but what’s over there?!?” distractions. Its such a fantastic playland of a park.

Local lore claims that Charles Manson’s crew dumped these stolen cars all over the park when they lived at the base of the hill at Spahn Ranch.
Three boulders. Three full water pockets.
Caves are fun!

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